February 14, 2006

Tibet: Google Loses Internet Users over Tibet

Students for Free Tibet (SFT) made Internet giant Google loose hundreds of users who broke off with the web search engine in an outrage over the censoring of information related to Tibet to placate China
Google lost hundreds of [customers] who broke off with the web search engine in outrage over the censoring of information related to Tibet to placate China.

Over 2,000 people from all over the world joined the Google boycott campaign launched by Students for a Free Tibet (SFT), a rights organisation based in New York that does not accept Beijing's annexation of Tibet.

SFT has created a new website, www.NoLuv4Google.com, asking people to boycott Google on Valentine's Day and express their anger with Google at the new site.

The anger was triggered after Google launched a new web search engine obeying Chinese specifications that blocks access to and distorts information about Tibet, human rights and other topics sensitive to Beijing.

Google's gesture comes after its rivals Yahoo! and Microsoft co-operated with the Chinese authorities.

Last year, to the outrage of pro-Tibet Internet users, Yahoo! provided information that helped jail a Chinese dissident for 10 years and this year, Microsoft shut down a Chinese political blogger's site for "not complying with local law".

"Break up with Google this Valentine's Day," the SFT urged. "We urge all Tibetans to pledge a one-day boycott of Google at www.NoLuv4Google.com and show the giant search engine that their partnership with the Chinese government is unforgivably irresponsible and evil."

"It hasn't been easy but we're strong and we're moving on," said Lhadon Tethong, executive director of Students for a Free Tibet (SFT). "For five years, I had a meaningful relationship with Google but now they've betrayed me. They've betrayed all of us and now we're saying: it's either us or the Chinese government."

"It's been the classic five stages for me, except backwards." said Han-shan, an action coordinator with SFT. "It started with acceptance that they were just like any other greedy corporation. Now I'm kind of stuck in shock and outrage. Google, I can't believe you let the Chinese government change you."

Extracted from: The Times of India

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